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Express Entry to invited FSWP, CEC candidates again from July 2022

Express Entry to invited FSWP, CEC candidates again from July 2022

The Express Entry draws targeting Federal Skilled Worker Program(FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program(FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class(CEC) will resume by early July, informed Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. The Minister also informed that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be providing open work permit extension of up to 18 months to Postgraduation Work Permit(PGWP) holders.

He has also made several other important announcements, which include:

  • The processing time for Express Entry applications will be reduced from the current standard of 7-20 months to six months.
  • The international graduates, whose Postgraduate Work Permit(PGWP) is going to expire between January and December 2022 will be eligible for an extension of PGWP for up to 18 months. It is estimated that around 50000 PGWP holders will benefit from this change.
  • It will no longer be necessary for PR applicants to remain in Canada throughout the entire time while their application is being processed.
  • Those who also apply for work permit while awaiting PR status will be able to get work permits that are valid until the end of 2024. So, the applicants will not have to worry about extending their work permit before receiving the PR visa.
  • Immediate family members of a permanent residence applicant, who are included in the application and currently residing outside Canada will also be eligible for open work permit.

It is hopeful to see the Express Entry system of Canada returning to normalcy after the pandemic period. Before pandemic, the IRCC used to invite candidates with the highest scores, irrespective of the immigration program. In the earlier months of the pandemic period, the IRCC invited a high number of CEC candidates with an aim to achieve the goal of admitting a high number of immigrants in a single year at a time when travel restrictions were in place. CEC candidates were chosen because most of them would be already in Canada at the time of receiving the application and so, they won’t have to worry about border restrictions. So, in 2021, Canada could admit over 405000 permanent residents, a record in the history of Canada immigration. The IRCC also kept inviting PNP candidates throughout the pandemic period in order to support the immigration goals of the provinces.

However, a high number of applications and COVID-related restrictions resulted in application backlogs within the immigration system, including Express Entry. So IRCC stopped inviting FSWP candidates in December 2020 and CEC candidates in September 2021. So the new announcement is bringing a ray of hope to those candidates who are planning to apply under various Express Entry immigration programs. In 2022, Canada is planning to welcome 55000 newcomers through Express Entry. However, the Immigration Levels Plan of Canada for the period 2022-24 says that the Express Entry landings are bound to increase in the next two years and more than 110000 newcomers will be welcomed in 2024 through Express Entry.

The IRCC has also informed that it was able to reduce application backlogs for Express Entry from around 112000 in September 2021 to 48000 in March 2022. Between January 1st and March 31, 2022, the IRCC could finalise 156,000 PR applications.

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